Discussion in 'Full Timers' started by zaskar, Oct 22, 2007.
Anyone got a "5ver", specifically 5th wheel co' Celtic Rambler?
Hi Paul. Just noticed you asking about Fivers again. I too am very interested in finding more info on them. The Celtic Rambler has got to be probably the pick of the bunch of english built regards quality build etc but they seem to be quite expensive and also when you check out their website there seems to be an awful lot of extras that you can pay for some of which would be standard on US built fives.
I'm particularly keen to find out more about which ones are legal to import, weight and width wise also which ones have the required extra braking that seems to be necessary for the UK. Have been perusing the American secondhand sale lists and have come across some real quality made fivers like Newmar etc for ridiculously cheap prices. Has anybody imported any of these from the states I wonder and what pitfalls could one expect.
I'm leaning more and more to one of these instead of fulltiming eventually in an RV mainly because of the costs involved, fuel, spares, tyres, insurance theyre all horrendously more expensive than a normal M/H. I follow the guys posts who do have them for travelling including yourself and can appreciate all the good points going for them and the extra comforts and space that they give over a normal european M/H. Its all the minuses that worry me with retirement looming. I dont want to find myself in retirement after commiting to an expensive RV not being able to afford to travel around and enjoy it.
It seems to me that these fivers have all the luxury of an RV without having all the high running costs. Tyres are a lot smaller & obviously cheaper, theres no huge lump of an engine to maintain and run because in normal circumstances they can be pulled with a european sized pick up, which will have a lot better fuel consumption and will also far more importantly give me transport around the place once I've parked the trailer which gets me out of the added expense of towing another motor around with its added expenses, tax, insurance, breakdown cover, servicing etc, etc.
There seems to be an interest in Fivers in this country but not a lot is known about them. Where can one go to get some more knowledge on them. Every post I have read from owners in this country has been positive and I and others would like to know more. There seems to be only a few dealers involved in selling them namely the fifth wheel company and Calder leisure. Does anybody else have more info please.
Yep, would agree with all of that from what I've seen so far.
Again agree, they're a LOT cheaper over there (I wonder if it's partly because of the "trailer trash" image!?)
Errrrr, I already am!...........and I've got 20 years to go!
Now this is where we might have to differ. To pull a Yank 5ver, you're looking at a minimum of a Ford 250 (preferably an F350) and thats gonna have something like a 5.7 litre V8 @ 17mpg solo, 14 mpg towing.......roughly!
I can get 14MPG out of my 34ft Landau.
Granted, the insurance seems to be cheeper although apparantly not as widely available.
The main cost saving to ME, would be that with a 5ver, I dont need to carry a motorbike on the back for sightseeing AND I dont need an extra car for for work.
That's TWO lots of tax, MOT insurance and maintainance I dont have to bother with, that's about £1150 per year without counting unexpected breakdowns/maintainance.
I THINK the only way your gonna find resource in the UK is go round all the dealers and try and pick out the facts from the "B S" that dealers like to give out. That goes for the yank dealers and the 5th wheel co.
Another good source is www.rvamerica.com if you're gonna go down the yank 5ver route.
Personally, IF we go down the 5ver route, I'm pretty certain it will be from the 5th wheel co rather than a yank cos IMHO there aren't ENOUGH benefits of running a yank 5ver over a yank A class in the UK
Thanks for that paul. Didnt realise you were already retired or is it got tired with work, I get that feeling regularly.
Some of the smaller yanks would probably pull behind
a european. I gather they have a different size hitch to ours which is easily changed I guess. I was really impressed with the quality of the celtic rambler and its smaller brother when I looked over them at a show. They seem expensive for what they are but when you think we can pay 60k for a top of the range 3 axle autotrail a Celtic Rambler and reasonable pick up only costs marginally more and gives a lot more space and luxury and more importantly would let us out of towing or carrying a second vehicle to get around while on site.
Hahahahaha! only in mind mate! ;-) 44, still working for a living as an aircraft design engineer. I meant, I had 20 years to go.........( MAX, I hope).
That's exactly the way we are looking at it.
1/ You dont HAVE to buy a brand new pick up. There are some really nice Nissan Navaras out there on the second hand market for as little as 12K (27+ Brand new).
2/ You don't HAVE to have all the extras. For a start, ffiona and I both HATE leather so thats gonna bring the cost down by about 1.5K for the 5ver. If I look at the brochure, at least 1/2 to 3/4 of the options, we simply wouldn't want anyway.
ffiona and I have an apppointment at 5th wheel co on the 28th November for a factory tour and test drive...............we're also going to Travelworld's open day in a couple of weeks cos my heart is just crying out for one of the 3-off Damon Daybreaks they've got in at the mo'
Friends of ours have lived in a 5th Wheel for the last 4 years. They imported it from the US from Bob's Great Time RV's http://www.greattimervs.com/
At the time it cost them about 19k including import costs (may have been slightly less) and was brand new. The model was Trail-lite so as you can imagine, its one of the lighter ones.
They are on their 3rd engine on the Mitsubishi Animal which was also purchased from new. Hmmm, could be a Mitsi fault or could be down to the trailer ... you choose! I don't know either way but I sure would put a lot of consideration into the tow vehicle.
I'd say thats more likely down to the Mitsubishi I've had 2 and both have been absolute rubbish in fact we've still got the one we'll just drive it now until its scrap or if we're really lucky it might catch fire one night.
Paul. Do us a favour and report back what you think to the fifth wheel companies products when youve tested them. Im sure there would be other people interested as well in your observations.
Theboadacea / ForestBoy
Now that IS worth knowing. As it happens, after reading all the reviews, I'm already sold on the Nissan which has MUCH better brake horse @ 171. ........ IF we go down the 5ver route, but even so, thanks for the "heads up".
Will do mate. Must admit, I'm quite excited about the visit. ffiona is already living in one in her mind but unfortunately, even after all our problems/expense over the 8 years and 2 RV's we've had, I'm still utterly in love with the big A class RV's so it's gonna be a hell of a tough call for me.
Your just hooked on big boys toys paul, I bet Ffiona gets her way in the end, women usually do.
.........aint THAT the truth! ..........on BOTH counts.
We have looked inside The 5th Wheel Co's trailers and the cabnet work is the standard expected in top class boats IMHO. We did feel that storage (outside) was lacking for fulltiming, but we also noticed the same on small US 5ers. The brakes , on the ones we looked at, are air, so the cost of compressor etc. must be considered on total cost. AFAIK the only illegal part of US trailer brakes, is the lack of a park brake, this is not major work to correct. The electiics for brakes are not expensive or difficult to fit.
Some friends of ours bought a NEW 5th wheel 34ft (I think) this year, the TOTAL cost delivered near Cambridge was £18,000 TOTAL, very good value we think?.
We are , at present , looking for a truck camper for our Dodge, for a quick trip to Portugal, this will give us a nice little motorhome, better, and cheaper, than taking a big outfit on a quick trip, and we still have our truck for a runabout when we drop the camper off. If anyone knows of one for sale we are keen to know.
Catch you later Nigel & Pamala
Paul, did you recieve our e-mail?
Yes i did, and it was not only very interesting but very much appreciated thanks.
Sorry i haven't got back again but things have been a tad chaotic to say the least.
Expect some more brain picking in the coming weeks!
You are more than welcome. Any of our info. will be as honest and frank as possible!!! (Like it or not!!) Some info. may be given by pm.
Nigel & Pamala
Seen in OZ
We saw this in OZ at Alice Springs. It had been at a vintage motorhame rally in Darwin. In OZ vintage means vintage. :thumb:
Wow thats some rig Don, I bet the inside was something else also.
Sundowner. Just as a matter of interest what make of fiver did your friends bring over and what truck are they using to pull it. They obviously had no troubles with the width of the vehicle either coming into the country. Any idea where they purchased it also, did they go over there to buy it?
I know of someone who uses a Mitsi Animal for work (they have about 5 of them) and it is not going to be replaced because the fuel consumption and servicing costs have been astronomical. Personally I would sooner go for a Dodge Ram with the Cummins diesel motor to fully utilise the 5er mate, plenty of grunt, not to bad on fuel (compared to a petrol V8 anyway), reasonable to service and hold their value pretty well..... Why do you think the Mitsi's are so cheap to buy mate??
Can't wait to see what you get.......
I need to find out where they bought it, so far it has not been out since being delivered, camping trailers dont have a "test" to come into UK so nobody checks anything, but they are basically legal , so as long as the rear lights work the same as English ones you are away (you must have a brake sensor to operate the electric brakes) They did all the purchace on the internet, and did not go to US.
They dont intend to take it out very often and have a V8 Ford F250 to satisfy the rules of the camp site it is parked on (they live in it, and very comfortably) It will soon be going out on the maiden trip.
I am biased because I have one, but if i were to choose a tow vehicle, I would not hesitate to get a Dodge Ram with the 5.9 Cummins diesel, mine is a dually but our friend has the same truck with SRW (single rear wheels) with air bags to assist springs if necessary, his truck is not as wide as ours which makes it more supermarket friendly!!!. On the US forums it is generally accepted that the Cummins will do in excess of 300,000 miles before major problems (I hope they are right, mine has 200,000 on the clock!!) We work on 20MPG solo and 15MPG towing our 5er, we feel this is OK when you consider the power available.
Most full size 5ers are 8ft wide AFAIK which is the same as my Dodge, which is legal on our roads.
Nigel & Pamala
Ps I love that 5er in Alice!!!!!
I spoke to our friends tonight (who bought the new 5er from the States)
The 5er is Sundance 3200ES 34ft, I looked up the price from the dealer theirs came from (Lakeshore RV MI) the new price , now is $28,995, I have not looked at exchange rate today, but that must be around £14 1/2K, does that sound like good value or what???
I feel that it is a bit too big to use as a tourer, but it gives you an idea of the prices.IMHO 30 ft is about right, and with the Cummins Dodge noooooooo problems with power, apparently they do respond well to chipping.
Nigel & Pamala
PS there is a forum for Cummins Dodge for info
Thanks for that sundowner. Amazing price.
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